Daniel Day / Getty Images When good pasture grass is not available, hay is the single most important source of nutrition for your horse, pony, donkey or mule. Rye grass is gaining popularity as a forage for horses as it is quick to establish and grow and provides good nutrition. All content is for informational purposes only. Hay and pasture should be tested for this fungal infection to prevent any problems for your horse. Timothy, Orchard, or Coastal are all great options. It's said that hay revolutionized horse care, and man's ability to be mobile. However, grass hay is very high in fiber. Hay is the most important supplementary feed and the primary source of fiber for horses. Many horse owners advise that Alfalfa hay is the best kind of hay to feed a horse. A palitable hay that horses like the taste of, this is the hay often used to make cubes & pellets. There are many types of hay that you can feed to horses. As a general rule of thumb, grass hay is best for horses—alfalfa or other legume hay can be an excellent feed to mix with grass hay for animals that need more protein. Crested Dog’s Tail This is a very common grass especially in dry areas and is great for horses. Feeding a mid- to late-maturity hay will provide fewer nutrients, which might be desirable for easy keepers. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. It is highly palatable. Timmy Dutta’s Polo Horses Use SUCCEED—Find Out Why! Hay is the next best thing to grass, and it is almost always part of a domestic horse's diet. The best crops of Timothy hay are those that are cut prior to full bloom, as protein levels fall off as the plant matures. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. Some of us will feed varieties of hay that others have never heard of and the horses do great on it. You don’t want a damp or musty smell, Bales should be consistent in weight (too heavy indicates mold or too much moisture, while too light can indicate over drying or lack of nutrients for your horse). It’s our priority to make sure that we’re doing our best for the horses, every day,” Shannon says. Horse owners all have their own hay preferences, but Coleman says his top choice is a mixed alfalfa-grass hay that meets many different horse classes’ requirements, from growing to … Legumes are higher in protein, energy, calcium, and vitamin A than grass hay. Local availability will ultimately dictate what you feed, but knowing your way around the different types of grasses and legumes will help you grow or purchase the best option for the horses in your care. Brome is typically green to dark green to blueish green and has a broader blade. Orchard hay is another common type of grass hay – it usually has a thicker blade than timothy hay but can be softer in texture. This is a tall grass that grows well in cool conditions and varies in color from light green, to dark green, to blueish-green. Q: What type of hay do horses eat? Bermuda is typically the cheapest grass hay you can purchase for a horse. This forage grows to 2-3 feet tall, and is easiest to grow when mixed with grasses. Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass and timothy are all examples of common grasses used for hay. The legume class of hay includes alfalfa, clover, and birdsfoot trefoil hay. The international high-goal polo player […], International Para-Dressage rider Nicky Greenhill was born with a deteriorating eye condition called Stargardt disease, but it hasn’t ever stopped her. The hay should be cut early and be leafy, green, and free of mold, dust, and foreign matter, such as weeds and stubble. 3] so you know exactly what you’re feeding. It does spike in sugar production in the fall, so be cautious when grazing or feeding it to sugar sensitive horses. 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